A Comparison Study of Vocational Factors Influencing Academic Satisfaction for Marginalized and Majority Students


Marginalized college students experience increased rates of discrimination resulting in poorer academic outcomes whereas majority students are often afforded more privilege and access to resources allowing them to be more successful (Bardhardt et al., 2017; Milkman et al., 2015; Hanson, 2021). Psychology of Working Theory (PWT; Duffy et al., 2016) posits that experiences of discrimination and marginalization can negatively impact the chances for one to be successful in the world of work. PWT argues that decent work is a desired outcome by marginalized individuals and research confirms that securing future decent work is important to marginalized college students (Ma et al., 2021). Research appears to argue that future occupational prestige is most important for majority students (Walker & Tracey, 2012). Currently, the literature suggests the needs of marginalized students and majority students are different, but it is possible these two groups overlap (Schreiner et al., 2011). The proposed study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by comparing the perceptions of future decent work and future occupational prestige via occupational aspirations in marginalized and majority students as well as the impact these perceptions have on academic satisfaction. A total of 323 participants recruited via the School of Psychology’s research recruitment system, SONA, were used in a multi-group structural equitation model with invariance testing between the two groups. No meaningful differences were found between the two groups and future decent work was found to significantly affect academic satisfaction for the group as a whole, but not occupational prestige. Implications for this study include informing colleges and universities about the needs of marginalized students and aids in efforts to increase retention across all students, with an emphasis on marginalized students which colleges particularly struggle to retain

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This paper was published in Aquila Digital Community.

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